Chapter Three

Strongly, Publicly, and Everywhere
The Task of the Rabbis
There Should Not Remain a Single Individual Anywhere Who is Unaware of the Ruling
Certainly the Issue Affects Them to the Core of their Souls

After a rabbi rules unequivocally on this matter, he must not wait until he is asked about it; rather, he himself should widely publicize the ruling. This is what the first Lubavitcher Rebbe writes in his Code of Jewish Law, that "someone who asks [whether he should transgress the Shabbos in order to save a life] is a shedder of blood," since he could be saving a life during the time it takes to ask the question; "and the one who waits to be asked is contemptible," inasmuch as he should have taken the initiative, and publicized that it is permitted.

On Shabbos Vayakhel-Pekudei 5740 (1980), the Rebbe pointed out that there are certain issues concerning which rabbis find no difficulty in publicizing their rulings:

If we ask even an unworldly rabbi whether, according to Jewish Law, the government should fund yeshivas, he will answer, "Of course!" And if we would further ask him if we may publicize this in his name, he would answer that it is unnecessary, since he himself is going to do just that.

The same applies — and all the more so — with regard to the rabbinical ruling concerning the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Holy Land. We should publicize this ruling "such that there should not even be one single person who will not know about it!"

In the same address, the Rebbe told the rabbis that "only when they conduct themselves in this fashion are they doing their jobs properly."

When the Rebbe heard about a certain conference involving observant Jews, in which the agenda did not include a rabbinical ruling regarding the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Holy Land, he asked:

Dozens of Jews gather together, every one of whom is observant, and they study the weekly Torah portion every Shabbos, including those portions that discuss the boundaries of the land of Israel. And there are those amongst them who read the newspapers, and are aware of the situation in the world.

How is it possible that during the three days they were together, they discussed the most important things, things that are undeniably important, even making good resolutions; yet, about a situation that concerns the veritable life and death of scores of Jews, G-d forbid, nothing is said, and no one even complains! And then they publish the minutes of the meeting including all the good resolutions they made (and they really are good resolutions), without even mentioning a single, solitary word about the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel.

The Rebbe further said at the same address, that

Just as the conduct of Mordechai in the time of Achashverosh, and Joseph in the time of Pharaoh (both of whom held positions of power under non-Jewish regimes), so must be the conduct now of the rabbis, whom our sages call "rulers," meaning that they must not be afraid of anything....

If the Rebbe makes incumbent upon all rabbis the obligation to protest in this regard, then this obligation is twice as great for those who have already expressed their opinion on this or similar issues. As the Rebbe said:

Any rabbi who has expressed his opinion on this or similar issues — in which case he cannot excuse himself from issuing a ruling in this matter — should certainly consider all that we have said, and issue a definitive halachic ruling concerning whether or not it is permitted to abandon parts of Judea and Samaria. For here, we are dealing not only with the prohibition of allowing non-Jews to settle the land, but also with immediate danger of loss of lives.

The Rebbe continues:

It is obvious that all the above is not meant to demean the rabbis’ honor. In fact, they don’t need my urging in this matter, inasmuch as they are ordained rabbis, and certainly are familiar with this law, and shall conduct themselves accordingly. Particularly since this is a matter of life and death for numerous Jews, it must profoundly concern each and every rabbi. Therefore, they don’t need anyone to prompt them about it.

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